Until the early 20th Century, Dundee had been a flourishing city known for trading, whaling, textiles, food manufacturing and shipbuilding. The rise of global competition, however, led to large-scale plant closures that threw thousands out of work and caused major out-migration, trumpeted by national headlines about a city in terminal decline.

By the 1990s, city leadership had had enough. They formed a partnership of government, universities, business and community groups to chart a path forward. Its first moves were traditional: rebuilding the city center and developing tourist and leisure facilities. Employment kept falling– but there were signs of early growth in new sectors like software, animation, computer games, film and television.

Dundee’s universities were driving it, but the Partnership quickly put its shoulder to the wheel. It attracted investment, launched marketing programs and developed business incubators and accelerators. Attention also went to existing companies, which received training to improve their e-readiness. By 2007, life sciences and digital media were employing nearly 7,000 people and generating hundreds of millions in new revenues.

How did Dundee do it? Find out.

How have other communities learned to accelerate?

Learn from the story of Dundee and much more in the Community Accelerator online training course, Engaging the Community in Positive Change. One hour of your time will pay big dividends in your work.

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